Pathways into Production: Utilising Videography with Kwasi A. Ntiforo

Words By Nicole Fazlinia.

Photography by Kwasi

During another perfectly photography filled week, the absolute legend of an up-and-coming videographer graced us with his presence once again. Kwasi, or, made his return to Aire Street Studio to take more behind-the-scenes, content videos, whilst his colleague Yuri (@senpai__yuri) made use of our Leeds photography studio hire service to craft a modelling portfolio. We decided to steal this opportunity whilst we could to to write a blog about him and his rather stylish video production endeavours.

When did you get into videography?

‘My videography journey kicked off in October 2022, when my brother, Kofi Ntiforo (@wisli.mitty), gifted me my first camera. That marked the beginning of my path with videography and video production.’

Why pick videography?

‘Storytelling through different visuals has always intrigued me. Starting with casual phone photography in back home in Ghana, and using the app VSCO for photo editing. My move to the UK in October 2021 exposed me to a much larger range of cultures and styles. It really helped fuel my creativity and steered me towards video production in Leeds, and the rest of the UK.

Like Kwasi said, VSCO is a perfect app for captivating post-production editing for any aspiring photographer and is generally simple to navigate. With a membership, you can now also use it for social media video production, promotional videos, and brand videos. It’s cheap and one click on your phone away so it’s ideal for aspiring influencers or anyone who wants a cool, nepo-kid, Pinterest-worthy Instagram. Not sponsored, just inspired - we promise! 

What equipment do you use?

‘My current toolkit includes the Sony A6700 paired with the Sony 16-55mm f2.8 G lens, and occasionally, the Viltrox 85mm f1.8 II AF depending on if I want a different perspective. I also like the Lumix G7 and Lumix M4/3 12-35mm G X Vario. Having a range of good photography and videography cameras to pick from proves to be helpful for my video production studio work, and video editing projects, whether it’s social media videos for Instagram, or promotional videos for a brand, or studio photography.’

What’s your dream piece of equipment?

‘At present, my dream equipment must be the Sony FX3, though do also I have my sights set on an Arri for its unparalleled quality in video production services, but, hey, it does come with a hefty price tag.’

I must say, if you know anything about videography and photography, even the cheapest good quality camera costs a small fortune. The fact that they usually need to be pared with so many technical accessories like tether wires and lenses really doesn’t help, but that’s the beauty of photography studio rentals – you pay for the space and the equipment in one sum of £100-500, rather than having to sell your kidney on the black market just to afford it. I don’t know much about video equipment, but if Kwasi is saying these are the best cameras for videography or photography, and our tremendously talented Mark agrees, then trust that it is.

Aire Street Studios offers professional photo studio rental options in Leeds, providing an opportunity for you to experiment with camera hire Leeds-style, complete with high-quality lighting options, various backdrops, and a green screen if you’re interested in live streaming, or creating a Leeds-based podcast. Check it out on our website!

Dream shoot if money was not an issue?

‘Probably shooting Chris Brown at a fashion show/event, especially with other celebrities, and, athletes, and whatnot present. Also, Nike, and high fashion brands like LV have got to have an honourable mention.’

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into videography? What’s been your biggest hurdle so far?

‘Just start shooting! Don’t contemplate on what to shoot, start with literally anything and build from there. Love it as a passion rather than a job, and trust you’ll enjoy it. Everything else will eventually fall into place. 

As for my biggest hurdle, I had to have a full-time job outside of videography, as well as simultaneously studying for my Masters (MSc Construction Management). My passion to make a mark in the video production industry remained.’

One thing people often forget about their favourite celebrities is that they likely had to struggle a lot to get to where they are. The creative industry is competitive, unreliable, and expensive, but, nevertheless, it’s not impossible! If you’re struggling to get your foot in the door, take videography courses to find videography jobs. It expands your creative skills and helps you network with other filmmakers and videographers interested in video production. Leeds is a wonderful city to be in, and a real up-coming creative hub. As we said before, finding a studio for hire can also make it much less expensive to get started.

Do you have any key messages you’d like to show in your work? Anything that motivates you or drives your inspiration.

‘Simplicity. Don’t over complicate things for yourself. Life is already difficult in itself, just keep things simple - slow but sure!’

How would you describe your videography style?

‘Unique (laughs). I’m doing me. Obviously, I learn and adapt from the giants in filmmaking but yeah, My Style is what it is. Everyone is unique in their own way at the end of the day!’

As Kwasi and I discussed during the Leeds studio hire, it’s our individual flair that ultimately distinguishes us. However, no one is a blank canvas. Every habit, ideology and preference we have is inspired by someone, or something else. We’re all made up of tiny little bits of everyone else, so harness it when you’re grasping at straws for inspiration. 

How did you find your videography style? 

‘My style came from my lifestyle and my interests. I surround myself with fashion, and sports culture, and music. Anything which I find creatively aesthetic in general.’

How would you advise someone else in finding something that resonates with them?

‘Shoot what you feel, only you can tell your story. Everything is about individual perspective, so own your creativity how you would like it to be perceived.’

Last one - how do you connect with your videography clients and create a welcoming atmosphere for them?

‘Kill them with kindness (laughs). Yeah, I suppose I tend to get clients involved in the process so they can feel that creative change too. Also, communication, you know. Talk to them, ask how their days have been. Care for your clients and be concerned. We are all humans after all. So, although it’s business, be human.’

It was lovely to have them in the studio, and it was a brilliant opportunity to watch them work away, allowing us to get a further insight into the world of video production and content creation. If you’d like to have a go at crafting meticulously innovative and stunningly inspiring content like Kwasi and Yuri, amongst the many other creators who make use of our Leeds space, or if you’re considering studio hire, feel free to take a look at our new low rates, designed for up-coming talent who want to express their ingenious ideas but can’t find their way into the industry. Alternatively, we also offer equally as amazing separate services for seasoned photography professionals, who don’t need our team’s expert guidance, but still need a rare and well-managed space in the heart of Leeds. 

Wherever you are, we’re a short 2 minute walk away from Leeds Train Station, and across the road from many hotels, so book now, or pop in when we’re open for inquires! 

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